For almost as long as there’s been television, there’s been controversy about various TV shows. From time to time, a network’s most popular series will air a particularly shocking episode. Other times, entire series will draw ire for their very premise. As time has gone on, outrage over sex, violence, and other hot topics has shifted with cultural norms. But there are some topics that will always make headlines — and so will the programs that tackle them. Here are 10 of the most controversial TV shows of all time.
1. Generation KKK
In 2016, the presidential election signaled a turning point in the United States. Issues like racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism made headlines — which explains at least some of the uproar over a planned A&E reality series.
Generation KKK was created to give an insider’s perspective of the infamous hate group. And as soon as it was announced, the show faced immense backlash, as it was perceived as promoting the Klu Klux Klan. A&E insisted that the series was designed to do exactly the opposite, but the firestorm persisted. The network considered changing the title — but ended up canceling the series instead, after news came to light that some members of the KKK had been paid to participate in filming. In the end, Generation KKK was so controversial that it never saw the light of day; and we might all be better off because of it.